Collaborative Projects

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: Mapping Police Violence in St. Louis

By Ashley Jackson (PhD Student, Brown School WU) on September 17, 2020

Racial Violence, Legacies, and Reckoning Heightened awareness around the issue of police violence has ensued amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic, but for many, this social issue is all too familiar. The highly publicized deaths of Michael Brown in our own city of St. Louis and the recent kil...

court documents and newspaper clipping

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: LGBTQ+ Equity

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 8, 2020

LGBTQ+ Equity In 1972, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri’s new executive director, Joyce Armstrong, prioritized building relationships with local gay and lesbian groups. She spoke to the Mandrake Society, St. Louis’ first gay rights or “homophile” organization, and coordinated with leaders at the gay-...

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ACLU-MO and Racial Justice: 1940s

By Miranda Rectenwald on May 18, 2020

ACLU-MO in the 1940s In the years before World War II, the St. Louis Civil Liberties Committee was a small organization. In March 1940 St. Louis had 47 members, and an annual budget of just under $300 (roughly $5,000 in 2020 dollars).  There was no paid staff.  Board meetings were held in officer...

Whitehouse with protesters in front carring sign "Mr. President Fee the Scottsboro Boys!"

ACLU-MO Early Years: 1930s

By Miranda Rectenwald on May 13, 2020

The St. Louis Civil Liberties Committee began on May 7, 1920, with about a dozen volunteers, both men and women. For its first decades, the group and its actions remained focused on advocacy and education about civil rights. By 1932, the national ACLU noted that St. Louis was focusing “chie...

Tracking Down History

By Miranda Rectenwald on April 30, 2020

The story of the ACLU of Missouri is long and complex — and the process for researching this history is the work of many, many individuals. In January 2020, Emily Gross, a Washington University student interning with the ACLU-MO centennial project, spoke with lawyer and journalist Bill Frei...

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Open to All: The Fight to Desegregate St. Louis Restaurants

By Miranda Rectenwald on April 23, 2020

One of the documents preserved in the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Records at the Washington University Libraries is this simple black and white mimeographed sheet produced by CORE (Committee of Racial Equality) volunteers working in St. Louis. The page lists “places to eat-fa...

Reflections on a Centennial

By Miranda Rectenwald on April 16, 2020

In 2017, the Washington University Libraries’ Julian Edison Department of Special Collections and the ACLU of Missouri began preparation for the ACLU’s centennial in 2020. This work culminated in January 2020, with an event and exhibition at Olin Library. To continue the celebration online, this ...

book cover

Holobaugh in History

By Miranda Rectenwald on April 2, 2020

What’s in a Name? At Washington University in St. Louis, a yearly ceremony honors “students, staff and faculty, and St. Louis community members who live and lead authentically and perform direct advocacy and service to LGBTQIA* communities.” This award is named the Holobaugh Hon...

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Race, HIV/AIDS, and Health Care Access in 1980s St. Louis

By Eliza Murray, graduate student in history at UMSL on August 14, 2019

In conjunction with programs at The Griot Museum of Black History, Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis is taking a closer look at the history of HIV/AIDS and sexual health in St. Louis.  This post by Mapping Project intern Eliza Murray focuses on the 1980s. In the mid-1980s, efforts to understand, treat, and...